German sportswear firm Puma said that net earnings decreased by 9.9% to EUR45.2m (US$62m) in the second quarter, from GBP50.1m in the year-earlier period, but was upbeat allowing for the World Cup in last year's first half.

Consolidated Q2 sales grew 3.1% currency adjusted. Due to the continued strength of the Euro currency, sales were down in Euro terms, by 0.7% to EUR542.8m, the company said. In total, footwear was up 1.1% to EUR320.9m, apparel improved by 6.8% to EUR185.6m and accessories by 2.7% to EUR36.3m on a currency neutral basis. Its sales in Q2 were positively affected by early shipments in June.

Sales in the first six months were up 5.5% currency adjusted to EUR1,198.6m.

The company said that global brand sales at were at EUR1.4bn in first half of the year, up 6.7%. Like-for-like, footwear sales increased 5.9% to EUR780.2m, apparel improved by 7.2% to EUR479.0m and accessories rose by 10.8% to EUR124.7m. The brand's consolidated sales and license sales, reached EUR621.9m during Q2, thus marking a currency adjusted increase of 4.2%.

The company said in its outlook that orders - an indication of future performance - were up 0.5%, and confirmed sales and earnings growth in the low single-digits for 2007. In terms of product segments, footwear orders were down by 6.3% currency adjusted to EUR616.0m, while apparel orders increased 16.2% to EUR328.8m and accessories 1.0% to EUR56.3m. Its management confirmed sales and earnings growth in the low single-digits.

Jochen Zeitz, Puma CEO, said: "We are encouraged by our Q2 results, which show continued growth despite difficult comps due to last year's World Cup. Even if the year 2007 remains challenging we will continue to invest in brand initiatives in order to tap into the significant long-term brand potential."